Pradhan joined San Francisco’s La Cocina three years ago, taking the first steps to formalize the Nepalese food business she’d begun in her home kitchen. And her journey to successful entrepreneur has not been an easy one. In 2011, after nine years in an abusive marriage, she fled with her her six-year-old son, Ayush. “I packed up my Nissan and drove to a battered women’s shelter,” she told me. “When I walked out of the house I didn’t have a single penny. I started with nothing.” In the difficult months that followed, she turned to the kitchen, preparing the dishes she’d learned from her mother, who cooked for the Nepalese royal family in the 1960’s.